"Erase Natty" wording DANGEROUSLY misleading

Bug #738366 reported by Dana Goyette on 2011-03-19
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: ubiquity

I just had the Ubuntu Natty installer completly wipe out my Windows install.

I chose the option to "Erase Natty and install 11.04". It gave no confirmation of exactly what it was going to do to the partitions. I clicked okay to erase Natty, and it wiped out the whole drive. (Thankfully, this is a secondary system, so all I've lost is the time I spent setting up Windows 7.)

I believe I had a partial Natty installation (installation failed even before grub, due to LiveUSB squashfs errors), so I was thinking it would erase just that -- but nope, apparently Windows 7 is "Windows Natty".

Oddly enough, there was another entry for "Upgrade Natty to 11.04"; now I'm wondering whether it was going to upgrade that broken install, or somehow try to upgrade Windows.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: ubiquity (not installed)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-5.32-generic 2.6.38-rc6
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-5-generic i686
Architecture: i386
Date: Sat Mar 19 11:36:21 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Alpha i386 (20110302)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: ubiquity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Related branches

Dana Goyette (danagoyette) wrote :
description: updated
Moc (mochouinard-moctel) wrote :

Samething here, I got my whole HD wiped (win7 partition) when selecting to replace ubuntu 10.10. And my install did crash before reaching the end (Alittle bit after adding user)

Moc (mochouinard-moctel) wrote :

Forgot to mention that I ran the amd64 architecture

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Philip Muškovac (yofel) wrote :

Setting High as this causes data loss.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
milestone: none → ubuntu-11.04-beta-1
Evan (ev) wrote :

Can someone that is able to reproduce this with multiple operating systems installed please run the installer in debug mode (press "Try Ubuntu" on the first screen, then open a terminal window and type `ubiquity -d`). Run through the installer until you get to the first partitioning page, then quit and run `apport-collect 738366`. Please also attach the output of `sudo os-prober`.


Evan (ev) wrote :

Note that in following the steps above to collect debug logs, by not proceeding past the first partitioning screen, you will not commit any changes to your disk.

Evan (ev) on 2011-03-23
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
importance: High → Critical
Evan (ev) on 2011-03-23
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
Evan (ev) wrote :

I've committed a fix for this and it should be making its way into the archive, but I'd like to test it further before closing this bug.

Photon (michael-kogan) wrote :

I'd suggest to remove the affected images from the server. I just tried to install the current daily build and selected this option. Unfortunately I used the same user name like in my productive system. Now:

1. The partition of the previous Natty install is formatted - as expected.
2. The user directory in my /home is deleted - not quite expected.
3. A data partition is completely formatted and overwritten with the default contents of the user folder after a fresh install - not expected at all.

Many sites link directly to the daily image directory (in my case the wiki site of the Natty's Xorg testers team) and there is no warning at all so I'd strongly recommend to either place a warning directly in the files list or remove the affected images!

Photon (michael-kogan) wrote :

edit: To 3.: I was wrong, it's the content of the system partition not of the user folder.

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
assignee: nobody → Evan Dandrea (ev)
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Daily builds only remain on cdimage.ubuntu.com for a few days anyway.

However, it's surprising that you ran into this with the daily build from 2011-03-27, because we believed it fixed there. Could you please post logs?

Photon (michael-kogan) wrote :

Well, I must revise my comment partially. The user folder has remained intact, just the data partition was formatted. I was mislead by following observations:

- The other users' (test users) folders were accessible as user from Natty live session.
- My user's folder was partially accessible as user from Natty live session: files that were directly in the user folder were accessible while subfolders were not.
- My user's folder was not accessible at all as user from an old Jaunty CD's live session.
- As root my user's folder were accessible from both CDs' live sessions.

While there might be a reason for the other users' folders to be accessible as user (though I don't remember doing anything particular with the permissions), it is very strange that the same folder was partially accessible from Natty but wasn't from Jaunty...

Unfortunately I've not saved any logs and I'm not really keen to try an install once more since I'm really really happy that my term paper that I have to deliver in some days has survived the last install. :)

Evan (ev) on 2011-04-07
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
milestone: ubuntu-11.04-beta-1 → none
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu Natty):
milestone: none → ubuntu-11.04-beta-2
Evan (ev) wrote :

I've fixed and tested this to the best of my ability; however, if anyone hears reports of similar data loss behavior in a recent daily-live CD (http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live), please do let me know straight away.

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